If Evan Gattis continues to perform the way he has so far this year, the Atlanta Braves and their fans may soon forget about the departure of Brian McCann this offseason. This is especially true when he turns in performances like the one he did today against the Chicago Cubs.
In front of the home crowd at Turner Field, Gattis was an absolute beast at the plate. He went 1-for-3 with one home run, two runs scored and one run batted in to help the Braves complete a much-needed sweep of the Cubs. Atlanta had just lost six games in a row before returning home to face a struggling Chicago ball club this weekend, and it was nice to get things back on track with a three-game win streak.
A big reason why the Braves were able to do so was because of their emerging star at catcher. The legend of “El Oso Blanco” continues to grow with each and every game, making McCann a distant memory. However, it’s not just the offense and power Gattis brings with his bat that helps people forget about their former catcher; it’s his ability to call a great game behind the plate, too. He doesn’t nearly get enough credit for the job he does back there.
The Braves’ pitching has been the best in the MLB so far this season and the reason why is because of Gattis, in my mind. I know the starting pitchers definitely deserve most of the credit, but did you really think Aaron Harang or Alex Wood would both have ERA’s under 3.00 at this point in the year? How about Julio Teheran and Ervin Santana having under 2.00 ERA’s? I know I didn’t, which is why Gattis is a game-changer in my opinion.
I liked McCann just as much as the next guy during his tenure with the Braves, but what Atlanta has now is an upgrade at the catcher position. After today’s performance against the Cubs, Gattis is now hitting .257 with eight home runs and 16 runs batted in. McCann on the other hand is not even close, and he’s in a hitter-friendly ballpark. He’s only batting .214 with four home runs and 12 runs batted in while making almost $16.5 million more than Gattis. I think it’s safe to say the Braves chose the right guy.